The storm before the storm at Roland Garros

It’s tough to see where exactly Day Six at Roland Garros will conjure up some thrills but we have little doubt that there will be drama as the tournament really starts to heat up with the second week fast approaching.

Day Five was another beauty in Paris.

In the men’s draw Andy Murray, Stan Wawrinka and Kei Nishikori all advanced safely to the last 32.

Nick Kyrgios bowed out at the hands of Kevin Anderson. While the Australian was the 18th seed for the event and his South African opponent was not seeded, I’m reluctant to call it a surprise. I’m also reluctant to call his meltdown, breaking of two racquets and request for a spectator to bring him a beer a surprise. As a tennis player, Kyrgios is an amazing talent, but his constant affiliation with controversy must now stop shocking people and be considered the norm. Kyrgios wont change and so his performances will always be inconsistent.

On a lighter note, there was a touching moment between Juan Martin Del Potro and Nicolas Almagro. The latter was forced to retire with what appeared to be back spasms and the big Argentine hugged him, gave him a pep talk, packed his bags and then helped him walk off the court. Only in Paris and only Del Potro. For his kindness, a last 32 meeting with Murray awaits.

On the women’s side of the draw Karolina Pliskova, Simona Halep, Elina Svitolina and Agnieszka Radwanska all progressed.

Glamour girl, Eugenie Bouchard, crashed out though after a lacklustre performance against Anastasija Sevastova – Maria Sharapova must have been extremely proud of the Latvian.

Looking ahead to Day Six, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal both have the opportunity to cement their spots in the last 16 as they face Diego Schwartzman and Nikoloz Basilashvili respectively. Neither player should cause either of the two top seeds any problems but this is Roland Garros after all so you never really know.

Djokovic has cut a refreshed figure so far this week and he is confident he has turned over a new page in his life after a major dip in form.

“I think I have reached the stage of my life where I just need to always find new ways of motivating myself, inspiring myself, and having Agassi on board and doing some changes is definitely bringing me that,” the Serb said after beating Joao Sousa.

“I look forward to whatever life brings next. I still feel young in my mind, in my body as well. I’m going to keep going and see where it takes me.”

In the build-up to his meeting with Basilashvili, Nadal reminded us that he is human – despite his dominance at Roland Garros he still gets nervous before games and today will be no different.

“I won here nine times and every year that I won I was unbelievably happy, but every year that I come back, I am unbelievably nervous,” the Spaniard said.

“Life changes? No. These things are repeating every time.”

Dominic Thiem is also in action against Steve Johnson on Friday. This should be a cracker. Thiem has been tipped to be a future grand slam champion while Johnson is playing in honour of his father who sadly passed away a few weeks ago.

After his second round victory over Borna Coric, Johnson sunk to his knees, tears in his eyes.

“I just miss my dad,” the American said after the match.

“I wish he was following along – I know he is from upstairs – but it’s just so emotional, it’s hard to describe.

“Physically, I’m OK, emotionally, I’m a mess.

“He always wanted me to be a fighter and a competitor so that’s what I’m going to do, day in and day out.”

In the women’s draw on Friday Venus Williams locks horns with Elise Mertens while fourth seed Garbine Muguruza will do battle with Yulia Putintseva.

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